Invictus Games postponed again to 2022 due to coronavirus pandemic

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Prince Harry at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto

The Invictus Games for disabled war veterans have been postponed for a second year because of the coronavirus pandemic and are now set to take place in 2022, organisers said on Tuesday.

The Olympic-style sports event strongly backed by Britain's Prince Harry was initially scheduled for The Hague in the Netherlands in 2020 but was delayed until May 29-June 5 2021.

"The Invictus Games Foundation and the organising committee, after consultation with the teams, partners and stakeholders, intend to move the event to the spring of 2022," the organisers said in a statement.

"This move is to avoid current social distancing measures that would otherwise negatively impact the recovery journey of its competitors."

Other options for the games featuring athletes from 20 countries, including holding them digitally, without an audience, or later in 2021, "were not taken forward" by organisers.

The Invictus Games are the brainchild of Harry, who served with the British military in Afghanistan.

"For so many around the world, the Invictus community included, Covid-19 has changed our expectations, hopes, and plans," added a statement signed by Prince Harry and other key organisers.

"But our unwavering mission is one bound by resilience and community -- and that mission will continue to shine through between now and spring 2022, when we hope to see everybody in person again in The Hague."

A series of sporting events has been cancelled or delayed because of the pandemic, including last year's Tokyo Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said earlier Tuesday that the Olympics will go ahead this summer "however the coronavirus evolves".

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